Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas Goodies

I hope everyone had a great Christmas!!!  I know I certainly did.  I had a great day.  I started the morning opening gifts with my DH.  We then went over to my parent's house and opened presents with my family, had a nice Christmas dinner, came home, and had my father-in-law and brother-in-law over to watch the football game.

Here are some of my quilting related goodies that I got from various people...

10 Yards of fabric by Marcus Brothers...

A Fat Quarter Bundle...

A light to go on my sewing machine...

A bunch of notions...

Several Quilting books...

A great new iron...

And the most wonderful quilting present of all from my parents...

drumroll please...

my dream sewing machine...  Ahhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!  (That I'm already putting to good use, using the BSR to quilt one of my many unfinished quilt tops.)

We had suc

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Newest Quilt Project

About two months ago, my aunt and I went to a local quilt store where they had a sale on fat quarters, $1.50 each!!!  They had recently received the new Eva line by Moda, so I stacked up on a bunch of those.  I'm making a lap quilt with... here are a few of the blocks on my cutting table since my design wall is filled with a secret project right now.

Like I needed a new project.  Ha ha!!  I guess I'm accepting that's my quilting style.  I get bored working on one thing for too long.  I need to bounce around.

Monday, December 14, 2009

All I want for Christmas

...ok, so it may not be all I want for Christmas (I'd also really like to win the lottery so I can buy the Bernina Aurora 440QE that I've been lusting after for so long), but I would really like a Fat Quarter Bundle of the new line Blush from the Fat Quarter Shop.  Anyone else just totally love those colors together?  I'm picturing a table runner, some place mats, and maybe a little wall hanging for our dining room.

Have you seen their latest blog post.  If not, run over and check it out (or not so I have a better chance to win).  Some lucky folks are going to have their wishes granted by Santa.   I REALLY hope I'm one of them.

Birthday Presents!

So last weekend was my birthday, and my husband made me a fantastic present, a cutting table!

We bought a cheap desk at Target and found board made out of some really nice quality wood glued together and sanded down at Lowe's.  My DH sanded it down more so that it was really smooth, and gave it 4 coats of polyurethane.  He then attached it using t "L" brackets on each side to sit on top of the desk so that the board didn't move around at all.  The nice thing about this cutting table is that it's lower than most, and being 5'1", that really helps me.  (don't mind the mess on the floor in the pic, I'm still rearranging things now that the table is in the room.)  The whole table cost less than $100 total for all the materials. 

My wonderful DH also bought and installed this for me, a pegboard that sits right above my cutting table.

It's awesome because now all of my cutting tools and other quilting tools are all within an easy reach right at my cutting table.   I love it!!!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Another Win and Some English Paper Piecing

I must have some great luck with me right now because I won another blog giveaway from Dye Candy's most recent giveaway.  I got my package in the mail yesterday.  Aren't the colors just fantastic?  Thank you so much Chris!  I'm trying to think of how I can use these beautiful dyed fabrics.  Hmm...

I've also begun using the 2 1/2" charm squares from the sampler box I won a little while ago from the Fat Quarter Shop.  I've never made anything using English paper piecing, so I thought this was a great chance to try.  I'm using the Whimsy line.  It's not my style at all, but it's nice to work with different colors and more traditional fabrics every now and then.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

September Scenic BOM

I have finished the 12th and final BOM in the Carol Doak Scenic BOM from her Yahoo group!!!  It's a schoolhouse for September.  I'm probably going to attach a bell or something in the top of the roof once I have the top all together.

I forgot to take a picture of all 12 blocks.  I'll have to do that soon. 

I'm going to sash in between each block with three small strips of fabric that will end up being 1/2" thick each strip with a nine patch in each corner of opposite colors.  It's going to be green and white.  You'll see soon enough.  I have the green all cut, I just need to cut the white so I can start assembling it. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

McCall's Mystery - Part 2 Done

I completed part 2 of the McCall's Mystery Quilt last weekend. Here are the two blocks.

Now to work on catching up on the steps, seeing as though they're onto step 4 already.  Time to catch up!  This is one WIP that was really hit by our move into the house a few months ago. 

Monday, November 23, 2009

Fire & Ice Top Completed

After a hiatus from quilting after being hit by the dreaded H1N1 virus, I was finally able to get back into my quilting room this weekend and finish the Fire & Ice top that I asked your opinions on earlier this month on the border.  100% of the people I asked, both online and with people that I asked in person, that I should extend the inner border to accentuate the corner squares.  Without further adieu, here it is:

It's not the best picture since it was taken last night at 10:30pm, but you get the idea.  The lime green isn't as bright in person as it looks in the picture too.   Most of the fabric is from the Jacobean Arbor line from Timeless Treasure and Mark Lipinski's Elements line if you were wondering.

Now to come up with a real name for the quilt.  Fire & Ice was the name of the pattern and Carol Doak's quilt that she made for the pattern/class.  I don't think I want to use the same name, so any suggestions? 

Monday, November 2, 2009

August Scenic BOM

Here's the August block from the Carol Doak Scenic BOM.  I just have to finish the September block to be done with all 12.  The block finishes 7" square, so those pieces of grass are REALLY tiny.

Here's all 11 of them together up on my design wall... I have a green fabric that I think is going to be perfect for some sashing.

Also, check out my new blog,!  I've gotten back into designing jewelry, and this blog showcases that hobby.  I'm even selling some of my pieces on etsy.  Check it out.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

I'm Back - Opinions Wanted

Yay, I'm back in the blogging world!  My wonderful DH finally found my camera charger, so I can finally post pictures of my projects.  Now I can post update pics of everything I've been working on.  Here's the progress on my Fire & Ice quilt from the Carol Doak class I started at the Lowell Quilt Festival in August.

Here's where I could use your opinion... Do you like how extending the inner border out into the border to showcase the corner stars or do you prefer to just have the corner stars next to the border?  After photographing it, I think I'm leaning in one direction, but I'm not going to say which one, as I want some other opinions.  I've had this up on my design wall for a few weeks now and I haven't been able to make a decision. Here are close ups of both option.

To give an idea of size, those corner squares are a total of 6 1/2" square, so some of those pieces are really small.  


I'll post more later on with more of my recent work that I haven't been able to post about.  

Monday, October 19, 2009

2009 Goals - Where am I now?

Some of my earlier followers will remember that I set some goals for myself earlier in the year. I figured I'd post an update on where I am as a check-in for myself and to show off my mom's first quilting project below that, as you'll see, goes with one of my goals.

Here were my goals.
  1. Machine quilt and finish all my unfinished quilt tops
  2. Do all the Carol Doak Yahoo Group Scenic Block of the Months (more about this below)
  3. Make a quilt for my mom (she's been asking for one for a while)
  4. Teach my mom to quilt (she's been wanting to join us for a little while now and it's about time we get her going...)
  5. Use as many fabrics and patterns from my stash as possible
  6. Spend more attention to color tones and values and how I use them in my quilts
  7. Finish our wedding guest book (we had people sign quilt squares instead of the traditional guest book)
  8. Name and Label all of my quilts (I know, I know... this is something I should be doing anyway)
Here's where I am with them:
  1. Yeah, this isn't going to happen. I've just added to my pile of quilt tops needing to be machine quilted. I have finished two, have two partially done, and another out to be quilted by a long arm. I have another 7 or so besides what I just listed that need to be done.
  2. I've done 11 out of the 12. I have the fabric picked out for the 12th block, I just need to piece it and put the top together. This is one I'll be able to mark as met.
  3. I decided to give my mom the Merry Merlot quilt (from the Happy Hour book by Atkinson Designs). I just need to trim up all of the loose threads and attach the label that is already made.
  4. My mom took her first quilting class last Tuesday and made a table runner. It's the table runner shown above. She enjoyed it, and signed up for another class at the quilt store she took the first one at. Pretty soon she'll be able to join us on our quilting gatherings and we can help her expand her skills.
  5. Ok, so I have been using fabric from my stash, but I've also been adding quite a bit to my stash. My Fire & Ice quilt uses fabric that I've had for a while, the Merry Merlot quilt uses a fat quarter bundle I've had for over a year, the Carol Doak Scenic BOM uses all fabric from my stash, and most of it uses scraps, the Bright Bold Block quilt is ALL from my stash, and the McCall's mystery quilt is using Mark Lipinski's Calfilon from my stash. I'd say that's pretty good.
  6. I'd say I've done well with this.
  7. I still need to get the squares from my Aunt, so I haven't made any progress here, but there's still time.
  8. No comment. Ok, so the one quilt I finished completely already and gave to my aunt I didn't label on purpose because I really disliked the quilt so much (it was a mystery quilt) that I didn't want a label on it. I have a label all set to go for the Merry Merlot quilt once I get rid of all of the loose thread. We'll see if I label my other near-finishes.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

I Won!!!

I'm so excited!  I woke up this morning and read my email and all of the recent blog posts that I subscribe to.  I was reading who won the Fat Quarter Shop's giveaway from Fall Market for the newest Moda precut package, the sampler pack, and I saw the name Jen.  I thought, "alright with over 250 comments, that must be another Jen."  Well, I clicked on the name, and my profile came up!!! I had won.

The new sampler box contains 12 packages of 40 2 1/2" squares of all of the new lines of fabric coming out beginning in a few months.  Now to decide what to do with all of these. Hmm...

Also, I got a call yesterday from my local quilt shop.  I had won their monthly drawing!  Man, this must be my week.  I went in there this afternoon and picked up my prize, a couple of patterns and 5 spools of thread!  One pattern is for a bag and the other is for an eye glass case.  

Whoo Hoo!!!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Bucket List of Quilts

I started thinking of what kind of quilts I've made in the past and what kind of quilts I'd like to make eventually. As a result, I thought I'd share some of the styles of quilts I've made and other's that I'd like to make. I'd love to hear what quilts are on your bucket list.

Quilt Styles/Techniques that I've made (some are just tops needing quilting, but I'm including them here anyway) I'm including techniques because I think learning a technique is just as important as a style of quilt.
  • Bento Box
  • Blooming 9 Patch (as a gift, I'm thinking of making one for myself eventually though)
  • Disappearing 9 Patch
  • Crazy 9 Patch
  • Bargello
  • Fence & Rail
  • One Block Wonder
  • Braid Quilt
  • Stained Glass
  • Mariners Compass
  • Applique
  • Paper Piecing
  • Curved Piecing
Here's what I'd still like to make, or my bucket list:
  • Coin Quilt (I know, it's simple, but I'd like to make one)
  • Loan Star quilt (I'm still trying to gather the perfect fabric for one of these)
  • Aunt Millie's Garden (I know I said I'm not an applique fan, but I'm starting to like this quilt)
  • Tumbler Quilt
  • A quilt to be entered into a show bigger then a local quilt guild show such as the Lowell Quilt Festival, a much larger show
  • A Red and Aqua/Teal quilt. I know this is a popular color combo right now, but I've always loved this color combination, long before it became popular
  • Perfecting my machine quilting (I've done about 4 quilts on my machine now, but I'm not at the level I'd like to be. My skills in making quilt tops is far superior to my machine quilting skills. This is why I have so many unfinished tops. I'm trying to bring my machine quilting skills up to quilt my better tops.)
  • Y seams. I've never made a quilt needing it, but I'm sure I will need to learn this when I make the loan star quilt. I'm not avoiding it, I've just never needed to learn.
The other thing on my bucket list that's not a style or technique is to eventually buy a much better machine, preferably a Bernina Aurora 440 QE (or equivalent when the time comes). Right now I'm sewing on an average Singer. It does a great job piecing, but I've had a horrible time machine quilting with it.

I'm sure my bucket list will grow/change as new techniques are introduced, but that is my bucket list of quilts. What's yours?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

No Pics, but progress

So I still can't find my camera chargers. :o( I'm debating on whether or not I want to break down and buy new ones because not being able to find them is driving me nuts. At the same time, I don't want to spend the money on something I know is somewhere in the house.

Anyway, I've made some progress on my quilting projects since my last post:
  • Finished piecing the top of the blooming nine patch. I'm just debating on if I want to add a border or not.
  • Finished piecing the top of a disappearing nine patch using 2 Figgy Pudding by Moda charm packs
  • Cut out all of the pieces to sew 4 additional, smaller stars for my Fire and Ice quilt from the Carol Doak class
  • Continued machine quilting my bento box in between everything else. I've found that I can't do a lot of machine quilting at one time, so I'm making much more progress then I would have by mixing things up.
  • Picked out the fabric for the final two Carol Doak scenic BOMs from August and September (yes, I know I'm behind)
  • Installed (ok, hung up) a cork board next to my sewing table so I can hang patterns that I'm currently working on and other ideas. I also put my checklist here to help me track my progress. To hold a book up there, I use a couple of binder clips hung using a couple of tacs, which works GREAT!
  • Dropped off my Autumn quilt with a new machine quilter that I'm trying out. This quilt is just too big for me to do on my home machine, so I'm trying this one out so I can see what her work is like since I want someone to quilt the blooming nine patch quilt in an all over cherry blossom pantograph that I'm still searching for. Anyone seen a good cherry blossom pantograph I can purchase somewhere?
  • Started a lap quilt at a little gathering with my aunt KK using Moda's Eva by Basic Grey line.
That's all for now, happy quilting!!!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Fire and Ice Progress

I've been making some progress on my Fire and Ice quilt from Carol Doak's class at the Lowell Quilt Festival in August.

It needs it's inner border and outer border with corner stones to complete the quilt. I'm thinking of possibly reducing the star in the middle and making four of them to complete the corners, but I haven't decided if I'm that ambitious right now with so many other projects going on. We'll see.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Blooming 9-Patch Mid-Assembly

I've finally finished all of the nine patches for the blooming nine patch I'm making for my cousin's wedding next May.  I'm hoping to have it done so I can give it to his fiance at her shower.  I cut out all the squares and am in the middle of assembling it.  Here are a few pics.  I think I'm going to put a border on it using the same fabric in the outer most section (the triangles) since that fabric was the inspiration for the entire color scheme.  

I managed to squeeze a little battery life out of my camera, but I still can't find my charger.  I may need to suck it up and buy a new one.  Hopefully I'll be able to share more quilting photos soon.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Red Sox Quilt Auction

Those of you who know me or have followed my blog know that I'm a Red Sox fan. I know there are some fellow Sox fans who follow my blog based on some of the comments I've received. I figured I'd share with you a really cool quilt that's up for auction by the New England Quilt Museum.

The quilt has been autographed by 24 members of the Boston Red Sox. All proceeds of this quilt will go to the New England Quilt Museum. The auction is up on ebay and goes until September 25th. Here's a link to the auction. A list of all of the players who autographed the quilt can be found on the ebay page. I hope some great Sox fan ends up with this quilt.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Weekend Progress

Although I don't have any pictures yet to post, I figured I'd post an updated on the progress I made this weekend. I finally spent more than an hour at my machine on Sunday with the baseball games on in the background making progress on some of my many projects. I have a list of about 20 different projects that I'm currently working on in some stage or another, and that includes tops that need to be quilted, so it's not as bad as it sounds.

Projects I worked on:
1. Quilted more of my Bento Box top. I'm probably about 1/3 of the way done quilting this top. I'm doing a lot of straight lines and I'm going to go back and quilt in a bunch of wavy lines in between the straight ones.
2. I finished sewing the nine patches for my Figgy Pudding Disappearing Nine Patch, re-cut them, and sewed them together. I ordered some white fabric that should be arriving today to use for sashing and the border so I can finish this top off. I used 2 Moda Figgy Pudding charm packs for this quilt.
3. I worked on my Fire and Ice quilt from the Carol Doak class I took last month. I still have some work on this one, but progress is progress.
4. I sewed together all the strips for the last batch of nine patches for my Asian blooming nine patch and cut them into strips. Now I just need to sew the 3 strips together to form the final nine patch grouping.
5. Did some cutting on a Halloween quilt I'm designing using Moda's Spooktacular line that I just love. I'm starting to consider designing some patterns using different types of pre-cuts, so this is one of my experiments.

I also decided that there's no way I'm going to make a dent in all of the quilt tops that I have while continuing to work on other projects, so I decided to send my Autumn quilt out to be quilted by a long arm. It's such a big quilt anyway, so it would have been difficult using my machine as it is. I'm going to have the quilter do an all over leaf pantograph on it. I'm using this quilt as a test to see how I like her work so that once I finish this blooming nine patch for my cousin's wedding I can potentially have her quilt that one as well.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

No camera = not much to post

So I haven't been able to find my camera battery charger since before we left for Alaska. As a result, I don't have many things to post since quilting blogs just aren't as interesting without photos of quilts. I hope my charger shows up soon. It's somewhere around the house, I just don't know where. But I am still alive, just without much to share right now.

What have I been doing since we got back from Alaska? Well, I was sick for a week, so I didn't do much then. I have a basic layout for my Fire & Ice quilt and I just need to sew the inner part together and work on the border. I can't wait to share that one with you. I'm also working on the machine quilting to my bento box quilt. It's nothing fancy, but I finally found the right thread that I have been looking for a while now.

I'm also working on putting a hanging sleeve on the back of a quilt I did a few years ago because I entered it into a local quilt guild's show in a few weeks. I need to have the quilt submitted to the guild by Friday, so I must get moving!!! Lucky for me I actually have a picture of that one since my sister took a bunch of pics for me so I could submit it. It's a very scrappy quilt, but I just love all the colors. Hopefully I'll have a usable camera by the time the show comes arund so I can share more pics...

Monday, August 31, 2009

KK's Fire & Ice Quilt

I was really looking forward to quilting a bit last week when i got home from vacation, but unfortunately, as a result of our delays resulting in our 3am arrival at home Monday instead of 9:30pm Sunday, I came down with a bad cold in which I was bed ridden for a good portion of last week. You know you're really sick when you can't even bother getting out of bed and doing a little quilting. I had a fever for a couple of days and everything. Yuck.

The good news is that I'm feeling better now, so hopefully I'll be able to work on a few things this week. I really want to work on getting some of my quilt tops quilted and finished. I just have so many that I need to focus on finishing and I need to stop starting so many projects with so many unfinished ones still hanging around.

Here are a few pics of KK's Fire & Ice quilt from our Carol Doak class at the Lowell Quilt Fest last month.

Here's what she had to say about it... "This poor quilt started at one thing (with the lovely fabrics I bought in Maryland), morphed into something else because of the inner border fabric I picked out, and then morphed again because that inner border fabric looked nasty. So this is what I ended up with. I think it is pretty cool (or hot, with all the yellows and reds). The backing will be green. I thought it needed something quiet on the back. I actually like it a lot, even if it wasn't what I planned to create."

Monday, August 24, 2009

I'm Back!!!

Well, I'm back from our vacation.  "What vacation?" you're probably wondering.  Well, we went on an Alaskan cruise with my hubby, my parents, and my sister.  Here are a few teaser pics.  I haven't had the chance to go through all of my 1000 pictures yet since we just returned what was supposed to be last night but ended up being 3 am after several delays.  Lets just say it was one of the most frustrating trips home ever.  

I even managed to find a few quilt shops.  The fabric that's rolled is a panel of one of the towns we visited designed especially for that town and printed by Robert Kauffman.  

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

More Pics from Lowell Quilt Fest

As promised, here are more photos from the Lowell Quilt Festival the other day.  I tried posting them yesterday, but I kept getting an error message when I was uploading the photos.  Let's give this another try...

This one was made by a 12 year old.  Amazing for a 12 year old.  It'd be amazing at any age actually.  
This quilt won best of show.  You can see the amazing details below.  

This was one of my favorite quilts of the day.  Look at the detail below.  As you can see, it won several ribbons.